His ideas are frankly absurd: for instance, he thinks blind people can't smoke, or that they don't wear beards. Inside, the phone rings; it's the man, again mentioning Scotty in a threatening way. A young woman comes later and takes some blood, which worries them. Howard cries in the bathroom. They all sit in the living room.
When Scotty stands back up, the driver leaves. His wife, in need of money and engaged to her first husband, took a summer job assisting Robert, a social worker. Scotty has a rough patch after which he lapses into the sleep of a concussion. He learns that Robert and Beulah had run an Amway distributorship and that Robert is a ham radio operator. The wife introduces the narrator to the blind man, whose name is Robert. When the woman returns she smokes a little bit too and then falls asleep on the couch between the two men.
In the tape, she told him about not liking being married to a military man, and she and Robert continued to correspond this way for years as she and her husband moved around the country from base to base. And now he's coming to spend the night. They started to listen but were interrupted before the narrator could hear anything about himself. Furthermore, his inability to find the right description contrasts the long audio tapes that Robert would make. The narrator is shocked to see that the blind man has a full beard. They smoke for a while, until the wife tells Robert his bed is fixed upstairs and then she falls asleep on the couch. They have decided they will operate because Scotty hasn't woken.
The narrator thinks how awful it must have been for Beulah to know that her husband could never look at her. The theme of isolation is easy to find. The narrator agrees and finds paper and a pen. Ann tells him that Dr. The wife had worked briefly for Robert a decade before in Seattle. The irony is that the blind are wise because they 'see' some greater truth because they are not blinded by the limitations of the physical world. He sees the fury in their eyes and says they can have the cake but need to leave.
He and his wife have a tense relationship and they quarrel before her friend Robert, who is blind, is scheduled to arrive at their house. Francis believes Scotty needs nourishment since he has not woken yet. This passage shows the high premium the narrator places on visual perception. Or, rather, perhaps it is in perceiving as Robert does that the narrator is able to find a sense of true connection, to see beyond himself, and it is that sudden empathy that changes him and makes him see the world in a new way. The narrator gains insight into his own life when he draws a picture of a cathedral with Robert, realizing for the first time that looking inward is a way to gain greater knowledge and a deeper understanding of himself. The wife obviously has a lot to say and has spent the past ten years confiding in Robert on the audiotapes she sends him.
The knights leave, promising to return for Becket. This sense of isolation helps to demonstrate his obstinate close-mindedness, most apparent in his feelings and pre-conceived notions of blindness. Francis's behavior after Scotty's death indicates how behavior can reveal our desire for connectedness. Police Intelligence Officer Patrick Burke expects trouble. By the late 1970s, Carver was able to get a handle on his disease and then took teaching appointments at the University of Texas at El Paso and Syracuse. He's convinced all is well but doesn't understand why the boy hasn't woken yet. The woman wakes up and can't understand what they are doing, even though Robert tells her.
The narrator offers Robert some pot, and they smoke a joint. When he ends up dying, they realize it's the baker making the calls and confront him, only to end up having a tender conversation where the baker feeds them and tells them about his loneliness. The narrator makes a joke about taking him bowling. When the woman goes up to change clothes, the narrator rolls two marijuana cigarettes and begins smoking them with Robert, who's never smoked marijuana before. Before Becket left, the king appointed him to be the Chancellor of England as well as Archbishop.
Robert asks for Scotch with just a splash of water, and the narrator makes the same drink for himself and his wife. In describing his lack of faith in religion, the narrator in fact describes himself more generally: he truly does seem to have no faith in anything. Carver died of lung cancer at age 50 in 1988. The narrator says he likes the company and that he and his wife never go to bed at the same time. The friend starts to cry as Scotty has some spasms, and the driver stops several yards ahead, looking back from his car. After eight years of marriage, Beulah was diagnosed with cancer and died. .